Schnebly Hill Road

Sedona, Arizona (Coconino County)

Last Updated: 08/17/2021
4.2 / 5 ( 35 reviews )
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Information
Nearby Trails
Status:
Partially Open
Typically Open: 04/01 - 12/15
Length: 11.14 miles
Highest Elevation: 6420 feet
Duration: About 3 hours
Shape of Trail: Straight Through
Best Direction to Travel: West
Nearest Town: Sedona
Nearest Town w/ Services: Sedona
Official Road Name: 153
Management Agency: Coconino National Forest
District: Red Rock Ranger District

Highlights

Highlight: Schnebly Hill Road
“The finest workers in stone are not copper or steel tools, but the gentle touches of air and water working at their leisure with a liberal allowance of time,” said Thoreau in his 1854 book, Walden. He never saw Sedona. Sand dunes and seabed sediments were laid and then covered by more of the same over 300 million years ago. Under unimaginable compression, they became the sandstone we see today. A massive 3000-foot uplift 13 million years ago created the Mogollon Rim running from central New Mexico to western Arizona exposing the ancient sandstone layers. Walden’s gentle erosion took over. The ethereal beauty of Sedona’s many sandstone formations emerged. Today tourists from all over the world flock to charming and captivatingly scenic Sedona. Offroaders come too, running the many famous rocky trails in the area. Schnebly Hill Road is both a road and a rite of passage. The road itself is crowded and annoyingly bumpy on the descent from the Rim into Sedona. But the views always delight, all that red and buff sandstone formed into monuments ranging from massive to whimsical. Despite being a Jeep Badge of Honor Trail, Schnebly Hill Road is a once and done for many. But it is one that you need to do and will always remember, a touchstone of the community if you will. Thoreau never did Schnebly Hill Road. You should.

Video

Route Information

Technical Rating

( MODERATE )

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Waypoints

1. Trailhead (0 mi)
There are several large pullouts to gather and organize your group or to air down.

Directions to Trailhead

Starting Point: Flagstaff

From the intersection of Interstates 17 and 40 in Flagstaff, drive 19.4 miles south on I-17 to and take Exit 320. Turn west to the trailhead. Alternately, from Sedona, near the intersection of SR 179 and Highway 89A is a roundabout. The northwest road out of the roundabout is Schnebly Hill Road. Continue on Schnebly Hill Road for a short distance until the pavement ends and the trail begins.

Camping

Dispersed

Trail Reviews (49)

Questions & Answers (4)

Q: What part of the trail is closed now?
–Darin Binderim (01/05/2022)
–Wade May (01/09/2022)
Q: Is this closed @ upper Schnebly hill road currently? As of 10/22 Forest service website says it is. Can anyone confirm/deny? https://www.fs.usda.gov/detail/coconino/alerts-notices/?cid=stelprdb5341633
–Brian Kohles (10/22/2020)
–Wade May (10/22/2020)
Q: Is this trail considered more difficult if you travel from Sedona to the I-17 freeway or does it matter?
–Jon Sauber (05/08/2020)
–S.J. Hollist (05/09/2020)
Q: Is this trail not open after April 1st? The open dates say 12/15-4/1.
–Ryan Boudreau (02/21/2019)
–S.J. Hollist (07/12/2019)
–Jim Long (02/22/2019)
–Chuck Brinkley (02/22/2019)

Writer Information

Wade May


Hi! I'm Wade. After 43 years as a pilot, split evenly between flying fighters for the Air Force and Boeing 737s for the airlines, my feet are firmly planted on the ground. Seems I spent a lot of my flying time looking out the cockpit window thinking, "Yep, I could drive that trail." My trips range from a few days to a month. Most are solo in my silver 4Runner named Bullit. We range over all the southwest exploring remote places and trying to get as much dirt under the wheels as possible. Occasionally I get in some hiking, backpacking, and bushcraft as well. My most ambitious Overlanding plans include a trip to Tuktoyaktuk and Dead Horse when travel restrictions permit. Sharing my experiences as a member of the Trails Offroad crew, instructing at Overland Expo, and hosting the Gaia GPS Offroad podcast is a true pleasure. Hope to see you on the trail soon.
For individual use only, not to be shared.